About Robert Iler
Born on Mar. 2, 1985, in New York, NY, Irish-American - not Italian-American, as most would believe - Robert Iler began his acting career at age six, after being discovered by a talent agent. Sensing a charming, ineffable quality about the pudgy little boy, the agent - a man by the name of Jeff Mitchell - gave his card to Iler's father with an offer of representation for his son. After some consideration - not to mention a background check on Mitchell - Iler's parents finally agreed. True to his word, Mitchell quickly found their son work on a television commercial - a nationally run 30-second spot for the chain Pizza Hut.
More commercials followed. After appearing in ads for such companies as IBM and AT&T, Iler auditioned for and won the role of Anthony 'A.J.' Soprano Jr., the only son and youngest child of mobster Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) on "The Sopranos." As the series progressed, the show grew from a critical darling to a mainstream cultural phenomenon. Beginning his evolution as a relatively naïve, troublemaking schoolboy, Iler transformed from cute kid to handsome young man over the span of the show's life. As the actor approached adulthood, A.J. began to receive increasingly more screen time.
Unfortunately, life imitated art a bit too closely in the summer of 2001, when Iler's off-screen shenanigans got him into trouble with the law. While on hiatus from filming, Iler was arrested as an accomplice in a mugging of a Brazilian tourist. Found with marijuana in his possession, Iler faced a sentence of up to 15 years if convicted. Wising up, unlike his onscreen father, Tony, Iler agreed to plead guilty to a lesser misdemeanor and received a sentenced of just three years probation.
Returning to the set of "The Sopranos" in 2005 - a bit older, a lot thinner, and presumably a little smarter - Iler appeared to have put his criminal past behind him, instead, focusing on his work. Now an adult, A.J. gradually came to the fore as a major character during the show's sixth season. In one particular story arc, audiences saw just how deeply scarred A.J. had been by his father's near-death shooting at the hands of Uncle Junior. In a futile attempt to avenge Tony, A.J. goes to see Junior at the hospital with the intention of murdering the old man, only to fail and get himself arrested. Later that season, A.J. seemed to mellow out after falling in love with a co-worker of his, a Puerto-Rican single mother named Bianca.
Settling into a sweet domesticity with Bianca and her toddler son, A.J. finally seemed on the road to happiness. Unfortunately, A.J.'s world would once more fall like a house of cards at the start of the next season, after being unexpectedly dumped by Bianca. Slipping deep into depression and drug abuse, A.J.'s destiny once more seemed dangerously uncertain as the series wound to its inevitable and highly publicized conclusion in June of 2007. Fans worried about A.J.'s depression following the break-up, sensing the he might end up being the price Tony Soprano paid for the life he had lead. In fact, during the much-watched series finale, A.J. - and the entire family, for that matter - went out unscathed, much to the dismay of many "Sopranos" fans who expected someone to pay a price.
|Edith Capone. Dated c. 2002|
|Featured in "Daredevil" starring Ben Affleck|
|Reunited with Winick for a role in "Tadpole"|
|Feature debut as a bully who harrasses a student with Tourette syndrome in Gary Winick's "The Tic Code" (lensed in 1997)|
|Breakthrough role as Anthony Soprano Jr. (A.J.) on the hit HBO series "The Sopranos"|
|Appeared in a Pizza Hut TV commercial|
|At age six, discovered by talent agent Jeff Mitchell|